Monsoon hits Kerala coast after a week’s delay: Here’s a look at past years

The southwest monsoon hit the Kerala coast on Thursday, June 8, after a delay of one week. The monsoon onset in Kerala is usually marked on June 1 every year.

“Southwest Monsoon has set in over Kerala today, the 08th June, 2023 against the normal date of 1st June,” Meteorological Centre, Thiruvananthapuram tweeted.

The India Meteorological Department had earlier predicted monsoon onset in Kerala on June 4. According to the weather forecasters, the monsoon onset could be weak due to the severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy and the progress in the first week could be slow.  

The cyclonic storm, Biparjoy, has developed in the Arabian Sea and it is expected to intensify over the next three days and develop into a very severe cyclonic storm by June 13, according to IMD.

However, a delay in the monsoon onset over Kerala is generally linked with a delay in the onset over the southern states and Mumbai, PTI reported quoting experts.

The past record of onset of monsoon in Kerala does not necessarily mean a delay in the monsoon would impact the total rainfall in the country in the entire season, the PTI report added.

Rainfall During Monsoon

IMD had earlier predicted that the country is expected to get normal rainfall despite the disturbances caused by El Nino conditions.    

Though the density of average rainfall will decide the further circumstances, Rainfall less than 90 per cent of the long-period average is considered ‘deficient’, between 90 and 95 per cent is “below normal” and more than 100 per cent is ‘excess’ precipitation.

An agricultural country like India, with nearly 52 percent of the net cultivated area dependent on normal rainfall, a normal monsoon season is important for the farmers.   

Monsoon onset in Kerala in recent years

Over the last couple of years, the date of monsoon onset over the southern coast has varied widely. In 2022, the monsoon arrived on May 29 over the Kerala coast, prior to the expected date. It was an early arrival of the monsoon and also withdrew earlier than the expected time.

However, in 2021 the monsoon marked its beginning in the southern coast on June 3, after a delay of two days. Northeast India witnessed widespread rainfall, thunderstorms and heavy rainfall that year after the monsoon onset.  

In 2020, the southwest monsoon hit Kerala on its normal onset date of June 1, which marked the commencement of the 4-month-long rainfall season. The country received 75 per cent of its rainfall from the southwest monsoon from June to September.

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